First, I spent a lot of time online looking for reviews, mostly to see if it was even worth trying. I couldn't find one single review with pictures of successfully grown cacti from this product. So here I am, apparently it's gonna be me. There were a mix of satisfied and unsatisfied customers reviews, but only about germination, nothing long term. What about if the novelty doesn't wear off? So I bought one. For $2.99 I figured no big loss if it didn't work. These can be purchased online or most hobby stores like Hobby Lobby or Michael's.
When I opened up the product it's basically a plastic egg, (actual egg sized) with a clear top, a tiny disk of peat wrapped in some netting, and a package of seeds. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture, but Click here for one. The one I bought had 6 seeds. From reading the reviews it's variable how many you'll actually get, but the package said it's supposed to have 5 types of cacti. I decided to follow the instructions as close as possible. If I'm going to be the one to review the thing, I have to do it right.
Ok, so what are the seeds it comes with?
1.) Giant Saguaro (Carnegia gigantea)
2.) Organ Pipe
3.) Golden Barrel (Echinocactus grusonii)
4.) Fishhook Barrel Cactus (Ferocactus
I know, I shouldn't be a pain over typos and taxonomy errors, but come on, that's 3 errors in 4 sentences. Seriously, it seems like no one over there even bothered to google the names or look them up in a book. I will give them a huge round of applause for attempting to give the consumer the scientific names though, and not just the common ones. Then there's the fact that the label says "5 types of cacti seeds included." I don't know if anyone else has been counting thus far, but I only count 4.
Back on 5/5/12....It begins....
I guess the species they picked germinate fast or I got a fresh batch, as these were up in about 1.5 weeks. Not much to photograph, but a little green was a good sign.
7/5/12.... 3 months later....
I moved the terrarium out of the windowsill and under artificial light, as I got some eliotated (stretched) seelings. The instructions say windowsill and I tried to follow them as close as possible to keep this as close to what the average consumer has to go on, but my windowsills were too shady.
I lost one seed. It didn't germinate and started to mold so I had to get it out of there. I only took the top off to add a tiny bit of water once in 3 months.
But there's good news! They are finally starting to look like cacti. These seedlings start off looking like little green nubs with a forked top. Now they're starting to get some spines.
|Without flash. You can see one falling over from getting eliotated.|
|With flash to see the spines better|
I originally wrote this up years ago, and then decided against publishing it for various reasons. Then, I got an email from my friend and her daughter with pictures of many beautiful baby cacti that her daughter is absolutely in love with. We may have created a cacti fan for life due in part to this experiment with this product. So although this product review is a little critical, it is a positive one because we all do have cacti growing.
A little under a year old, 4/5/13:
|A little taller than my now dirty finger|
|Same pot as 2013 picture above, needs repotting badly!|
For anyone interested in this product review, I'll continue to update on this page as growth continues. If anyone reading this finds something unclear or has any questions about this product, feel free to leave a comment here (anonymously or otherwise) or email me. I will do my best to help, even if you're coming across this years later. I figure at least now there is an actual product review out there at all. Despite my initial criticisms I think this, and the other DuneCraft products, are a wonderful way to teach kids about growing things. I think it's a valuable experience for people of all ages really no matter how you chose to do it. Hey, I'm an adult and I am still having fun growing them! Also I love trying these products, so if there's something you want me to try and grow, let me know and I'll review it for everyone.